Robert E. Moffit, PhD

Robert E. Moffit

Senior Research Fellow, Center for Health and Welfare Policy

Areas of Expertise

  • Health Care Reform
  • Medicare

Moffit specializes in health care and entitlement programs, especially Medicare.

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Robert E. Moffit is a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Health and Welfare Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Moffit long has specialized in health care and entitlement programs, especially Medicare. He brings to the reform effort his government experience as a senior official of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) during the Reagan administration.

To achieve affordable health care, Moffit has urged policymakers to give Americans more direct control over their health care dollars, to eliminate barriers to personal choice in health care options, and to allow citizens to own private health plans.  At the same time, he believes policymakers should limit government intervention in what should be a much freer and far more competitive health care market, and work to restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship.

He is a co-author of Why Obamacare Is Wrong for America,” (Harper Collins, 2011), which hit No. 4 on The Washington Post's best-seller list. He was a contributor to A Time for Governing: Policy Solutions From the Pages of National Affairs (Encounter Books, 2012). He contributed to “Controversial Issues in Social Policy” (Allyn and Bacon, 2003), a university textbook on public policy.

In 2010, Moffit made Modern Healthcare magazine's list of “The 100 Most Powerful People” in health care. During the debate over the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, Moffit and Heritage colleagues responded to requests from conservatives in Congress to provide technical assistance for a variety of amendments and alternative reform bills in 2009 and 2010.

Hollywood screenwriter Burt Prelutsky (“Dragnet”) includes a chapter on Moffit in 67 Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die,” a 2012 book of interviews with prominent personalities ranging from actors and writers to business leaders and public officials.

Moffit has appeared on the major cable news channels as well as the broadcast networks, and is quoted regularly by USA Today and other leading newspapers. His analysis and commentary have been cited or published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among scores of newspapers large and small.

He has published in numerous professional and specialty journals, among them Health Affairs, Health Systems Review, Harvard Health Policy Review, Inquiry, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, National Affairs, New England Journal of Medicine, Postgraduate Medicine, and Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

Moffit holds both a master's degree and a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. His essays on political science have appeared in The Catholic Historical Review, Modern Age and The Political Science Reviewer.

Moffit's current research focuses on how to reform Medicare. For his own generation of future retirees, Moffit advocates a new approach: that Congress adopt a program similar to the consumer-driven Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan. He knows that health plan well from his tenure at the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that runs it. The program allows federal workers and retirees to select coverage from a broad range of competing benefit options and private plans with minimal regulation. 

As President Reagan's appointee, Moffit served as Assistant Director of Congressional Relations at OPM and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation at HHS. He later was an associate at Capitol Resources Group International, where he helped clients on matters involving federal health care policy.

After joining Heritage in 1991, Moffit's first task was to frame the think tank's response to President Clinton's plan to nationalize the health care system. He started by isolating himself in a room with nothing but the 1,342-page proposal and a few yellow legal pads. After five days of reading and taking notes, Moffit had drafted Heritage's analysis of the mammoth Clinton plan.

His efforts paid off in 1993: The Washington Post ran a feature story detailing Moffit's criticisms of the Clinton plan, and newspapers around the country praised Heritage's counterproposal for its consumer-driven approach. It would provide individual tax credits to help Americans keep existing health coverage or buy insurance and take it with them from job to job.

Ever since, Moffit has been one of the media's go-to experts on health care. He is the former Director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies.

Health care isn't Moffit's only concern, however. He contributes to the work of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, writes on American political thought, and champions government reform, particularly stopping the excesses of Washington's bureaucracy. He was the first major American policy analyst to cite Great Britain's partially privatized social security program as a starting point for a similar, but better, system for the United States.

Then there's crime. Moffit, who comes from a well-known family of Philadelphia police officers, co-wrote the 2000 book Making America Safer, a how-to guide for local governments to support their police departments. His co-author, Edwin Meese III, the former U.S. Attorney General who is now Heritage's Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus. Moffit also was co-editor of the Heritage publication School Choice 2001: What's Happening in the States.

Moffit serves on the Maryland Health Care Commission as an appointee of Gov. Larry Hogan. He is a member of the advisory board of the Buckley School of Public Speaking in Camden, South Carolina. Recognition for his work includes public service awards from diverse organizations such as the American College of Eye Surgery, the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, and the National Hispanic Family Against Drug Abuse.